Friday, November 13, 2009

Why is Sarah Palin dissing
conservative media?

Associated Press was provided with an advance copy of Sarah Palin's new book, Going Rogue, so they get the scoop on its contents.

I attempted to get an advance copy of Palin's book. No dice. Embargoed. "Under lock and key," I was told.

So the American Spectator doesn't get the scoop. Neither does National Review, nor the Weekly Standard, Human Events, et cetera. (Hey, welcome to the New Media Age: They could have given the scoop to Right Wing News, Red State or Conservatives for Palin.)

Oh, and when it comes to the big TV interview, it's Oprah who "gets the get," not Michelle Malkin.

Being a conservative journalist means that not only do your liberal peers in the MSM treat you like crap, but Republican politicians do, too. What mystifies me is why other conservative journalists don't complain about getting second-rate treatment from GOP big shots.

Sarah Palin suffered so much last year because she was advised by the usual "media strategists," including the self-serving Nicolle Wallace, a torpedo from Team Bush. And yet she allows the P.R. geniuses at Harper Collins to pick and choose their favorites in the media roll-out.

Look, Governor: I know you're under contract, but if you're going to call your book Going Rogue, how about a little "rogue" action on the media strategy?

(Cross-posted at Right Wing News.)

UPDATE: Some of the commenters seem to believe that I'm advocating that Palin "preach to the choir," which is not at all my intention, and I think this misconception -- that only "the base" read conservative publications -- is part of the problem of the way Republicans think about media strategy.

In the New Media age, the Big Story is not determined by the top editors of the New York Times. The Big Story is whatever the main headline is at the Drudge Report. If Sarah Palin gave her first exclusive interview to Matthew Continetti of the Weekly Standard, and Drudge made that the top item at his site, every political reporter in the country would be forced to quote Continetti's interview.

You really need to hear Andrew Breitbart explain this. The first time I met Breitbart -- at CPAC 2007 -- I spent about three hours just listening to him explain the awesomeness of Drudge Power, which can change the narrative merely by the selection of headlines.

Think about this: Matt Drudge, a former 7-Eleven clerk, and Andrew Breitbart, a Gen X slacker with ADD, are among the two most influential figures in modern media. The Deciders didn't decide that. In fact, the Deciders very much resent the success of Drudge, Breitbart and other New Media revolutionaires -- the lean and hungry competition who've been eating the MSM's lunch for years.

Old Media still have influence, but they no longer have monopoly power as "gatekeepers." The key to an insurgent approach to public relations is to use New Media to leverage MSM coverage: Subvert the media hierarchy, so that CBS and the Washington Post are force to hustle to catch up.

In terms of Republican politicans, the tactical and strategic implications of this approach are profound. I'd love to explain the implications of this, but:
  • If I explain everything on my blog, then the liberals can read it, too; and
  • People pay good money for my advice nowadays, so why should I give it away?
I'm Old School in the New Media, and the big problem with these GOP punks like Tucker Bounds is they don't know from Old School. But the other problem is that too many people allow the hidebound ancient categories -- in which NBC is "mainstream," but Rush Limbaugh is not -- to dominate their thinking to such an extent that they effectively forfeit the subversive leverage of New Media.

So many people talk about "thinking outside the box," but never really do. Me? I don't even have a box. I think I may have smoked the box about 1978, but memories of that year are kind of hazy.


  1. Ironic given Palin claims that those other other McCain staffers would not give her Mark Levin's number (are you telling me Sean Hannity would not give it to her when she did his show?). I assume she has got it now.

  2. It's because she's going for the big markets first? And targeting people who dissed her last year, in order to make it clear she's coming out swinging?

    Does the phrase "Well duh!" ring any bells?

  3. I'm not familiar at all with book publishing, release dates, previews, et al, but aren't you assuming this was an authorized release on her part. AP has not been bashful in their slanting and condescencion, I find it hard to imagine she favors them first. Heck, the premise of the story I read was that there was no mention of Levi, and good thing because he's got quite the load of dirt on her. I'd say that kind of take would be pretty predictable and good reason for not playing in their sandbox.

  4. Seems pretty simple to me. The liberal media gets it first and they go nuts trying to show her in a bad light.

    The Conservative media gets it later and "closes the book" in a fair evaluation that drowns out the usual character assassination of the Left.

    If you give it to the Right...they will talk about it, but not have the last word.

    Sound thinking...
    The Worm

  5. "Oh, and when it comes to the big TV interview, it's Oprah who "gets the get," not Michelle Malkin."

    On what channel and at what time can I watch Michelle Malkin's TV show?

  6. oh, poor baby. Maybe Sarah is trying to actually broaden her appeal. Besides, Oprah has more 'clout' than certain Conservative bloggers.

  7. Is it possible she might be able to reach more independent and liberal voters with her message by engaging Oprah and the AP?

  8. I couldn't believe that she was doing Oprah, either.

  9. She doesn't need to speak to the choir, although she will on November 18 on Hannity (who gets the first CABLE interview).

    She got a fairly soft interview by Oprah (who has to mend HER image as well) by all accounts. If so, she'll pick up more "converts" from the mind-numbed robots on the left and center-left.

    She'll get a fair hearing by Hannity and solidify her base on the right and center-right and pick up some indies and moderate-left.

    Sounds like good thinking to me...

  10. This is not as sinister as you make it. It is not in our (conservatives) interest to live in our own clubby echo chamber. Sarah appearing first on Oprah makes lots of sense to me.

    Sarah is Satan personified among the liberals. Oprah, a big Obama supporter, is big with that audience and her audience. For Sarah to come out and open her book tour to charm a liberal audience is smart and it worked for Michelle Malkin and Ann Coulter. Conservative media does not have exclusive rights as some kind of quid pro quo . An exclusively conservative echo chamber is not a smart idea.

    When Michelle Malkin appeared on "The View" to pitch her book, they didn't lay a finger on her because she is wildly popular and that show is trying to broaden its audience. There is a growing acknowledgement among more and more of the MSM that they lack "connectedness" with America.

    Then there waw the Ann Coulter interview on her book by "Rolling Stone" magazine. The reporter admitted at the end of the piece that he had been determined to rip her apart but confessed that he couldn't because he came to like her as the interview progressed. He was surprised to learn that Ann is not only smart, but she is funny and "cool".

    There is a big crack opening in the liberal wall and it really helps to present our most charming representatives who do the best job of selling what we conservatives are about. God knows the McCains, Steeles, Grahams, Bushes, Romneys, Huckabees etc... aren't doing it.

  11. Two points:

    1.AP was not given a copy of the book. Ap mentions in its story that it PURCHASED the book. Since the memoir doesn't hit the bookshelves until 11/17, it doesn't take Sherlock Holmes to deduce that AP purchased its copy from either a "Palin associate" or a talk show host, as these were the only two groups who got advanced copies.

    2. As Matthew Continetti points out in his WSJ op-ed today, Palin already has the conservative base on her side. She needs to turn around independents and blue-collar Democrats. The best strategy for reaching these demograhics is through the very mass media outlets she will be saturating next week -- Oprah, ABC and Fox.

    - JP

  12. Then again, if you look at where she is going on her book signing tour-- it's very rogue. She's hitting the heartland and not the media centers starting with Grand Rapids, Michigan. I think the marketing plan looks very good.

  13. The Cuda has spoken...

    Keep Your Powder Dry

    As you probably have heard, the AP snagged a copy of my memoir, Going Rogue, before its Tuesday release. And as is expected, the AP and a number of subsequent media outlets are erroneously reporting the contents of the book. Keep your powder dry, read the book, and enjoy it! Lots of great stories about my family, Alaska, and the incredible honor it was to run alongside Senator John McCain.

    We can't wait to hit the road and meet so many on the book tour! See you in Michigan first...

    - Sarah Palin

  14. I think Palin is "dissing" conservative media because even she's smart enough to see it for what it is -- a joke.

  15. Who has the most control on the publicity tour for the book, Palin or the publisher?

  16. I don't think National Review was very helpful during the campaign. They seem to be Romney fans.

  17. AP bought the book illegally. It was a blackmarket purchase. Someone broke the embargo. In this day and age of Harry potter books winding up being sold before relese, blockbuster movies and hit songs hitting the internet before release it is no surprise. The fact that you as a top notch reported do not have sources that could have scored you a blackmarket copy is another story. Maybe you should have asked us to hit the tiop jar so you could get your hands on a copy earlier.

    Palin will be on Rush Tues at 1:00pm Oprah on Monday, ABC and Hannity tues etc. She is going on left and right sites and touring the battlegrounds. Very good stratagy.

    The only point she missed is to be ready to release some of the pages to the press to counter the liberal spin but with her early rebuttal and the exact pages leaked to drudge I think she solved that problem.

  18. Actually, K~Bob said...

    I agree with you on this one. It's not about "the base" (whatever that is). It's about recognizing that the NYT and Couric, Laurer, and CNN are a waste of time when it comes to "big media". They are dying. Oprah is an anomaly, since she's like Rush and Stern: her own brand, with her own huge audience.

    It's going to take some guts for any non-leftist politician to treat the old MSM like the back-benchers they are.

    Also, non-leftist pols need to have the guts to spend more than two-minutes with new-media hosts. Give Hewitt, Malkin, Glen Reynolds, and others a full hour. Even on the campaign trail.

    That's how you break the MSM's supposed monopoly.

  19. Palin is doing Rush next Tuesday, Hannity on Wednesday and O'Reilly on Thursday. She is also scheduled to do Beck and Levin the following week. Who says she's dissing conservative media? The only NON-conservative media she is doing is Oprah and Barbara Walters.

  20. AP now admits that it PURCHASED the book "illegally" from someone who had an advance copy. As I understand it, advance copies of the book went to "major" conservative media people like Limbaugh, Hannity, Beck, etc.. Plus copies went to those Harpers negotiated exclusive interviews with like Oprah and Barbara Walters.

    Someone from these groups leaked. It could be the liberal staff of Oprah or Walters, or its quite possible one of the conservative media - who favor someone else for 2012 - leaked it to damage Palin. I wonder if National Romney - I mean National Review - received a copy?

    Remember Palin has limited ability on calling the shots here. Harpers guaranteed Palin a very high advance. Some have speculated Harpers will have to sell a million copies to recover the advance and make a reasonable profit. Therefore, they ensure in the contract they sign with Palin that they control the publicity strategy in order to maximize sales.

    What Harpers should do is ask everyone to sign the advance copy they received and return it. They can then determine who leaked.

  21. R.S.McCain,

    Dude, you're friends with Lynn Vincent. Bust out that speedo and get a move on it. What good are friends in high places if you can't call in favors!?

    Don't be too broken hearted. Palin thought your joke ("now she can't get divorced!") was funny. She digs you ;)

  22. ...and if Rush is reading this blog, he's probably going, "What am I, Stace, chopped liver?"

  23. Update: Heh.

    While, clearly, more than "the choir" watch FOX (and members of "the choir" couldn't find FOX on the remote), the question was: "Why Oprah and not Sean?" Answer is: She's going to be on Sean's show. Greta's too. (I'm sure.) Oprah? She's only going to get the time and the attention of THAT host and THAT audience if she goes there FIRST.

    And, as to Drudge leading the way? Huh? I see Drudge headlines all the time which not only don't "change the discourse," but are not even mentioned by the MSM. Certainly, the "new media" is changing the paradigm, but, thus far, that paradigm is more on the consumer side rather than the supply side.

  24. Say what you will about the first part of this post, i.e. who should have got a copy of the book and when, but the remainder is no less than a brilliant piece of writing (and brilliant writing requires brilliant analysis) about how the New Media must approach the future of news dissemination. I'll look for the tip jar for this one.

  25. Like Ace & Althouse, we should be careful judging Mrs. Palin's actions. We don't know the details of her contract with Harper-Collins. The "leak" to AP may be part of Harper-Collins' genius strategy.

    So, Stacy, you've had a book deal, is this conjecture consistent with your experience?

  26. According to the Detroit Free Press, the Harper-Collins publicist in charge of Mrs. Palin's book tour (at least where Michigan is concerned) is someone named Tina Andreadis. Perhaps a politely worded query to Harper-Collins about their media strategy would be helpful.